In the last year, Nintendo has ingrained itself in the American consciousness-especially that of Americans under 12. Its characters have inspired a Saturday morning cartoon show (Super Mario Bros.), and there is even a Nintendo cereal (sounds nutritious, doesn't it?). Nintendo has become the dream of little boys and little marketing men everywhere.
More good news for game players has been the development of books of hints and guidebooks to help you when you are stuck. For example, "Mastering Nintendo Video Games," by a father-and-son team named Judd and Joshua Robbins, gives help on more than 100 cartridges, including such favorites as Super Mario Bros. 2 and Zelda II: The Adventures of Link. The book retails for $7.95 and can be ordered by calling Hayden Books at 800-257-5755.
To help with your game gift buying, here's a roundup of the hottest Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) releases, as well as a look at what Sega, the main pretender to the game-machine throne, has in store for the season. Expect to pay about $50 a cartridge-if you can find it. Some of the more popular ones will be especially hard to find as Christmas approaches.